The taps run dry in just a few hours

This is the third in­stal­ment of the eighth se­ries of City Press’ Tatane Project, named in hon­our of slain ser­vice-de­liv­ery ac­tivist An­dries Tatane. The first time City Press went to Mawa Block 9, res­i­dents col­lected their wa­ter from rivers. Five years lat

CityPress - - News -

“Most of us who can­not af­ford to buy wa­ter from peo­ple who have bore­holes out­side the vil­lage go to the river. It is some­times dry, and we dig and dig through the sand un­til we get to the mud­died wa­ter. We fill our con­tain­ers one scoop at a time,” she says.

“The wa­ter has to be boiled be­fore we drink it. In re­ally bad times, we cook with the same wa­ter,” she adds.

Look­ing at de­vel­op­ment plans for the vil­lage on the Greater Tza­neen Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s web­site, there’s not much go­ing on, ex­cept a R500 000 high-mast light project, which is sched­uled to be im­ple­mented this year.

Mayor Dikeledi Mme­tle says the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has made some strides in ad­dress­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery in Mawa.

“Life in Mawa Block 9 is now con­ve­nient. Res­i­dents now have fridges, TVs and elec­tric stoves. They are no longer at risk of houses burn­ing down be­cause of can­dles fall­ing or gas tanks ex­plod­ing.”

In con­trast to what res­i­dents are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing on the ground, mu­nic­i­pal spokesper­son Neville Nd­lala claims that, aside from the wa­ter from the Nkam­bako Wa­ter Scheme, the vil­lage boasts five bore­holes. He adds that only two are in a func­tional state now be­cause of “theft and van­dal­ism”.

Res­i­dents, how­ever, ar­gue that none of the bore­hole pumps is work­ing, and they haven’t worked for a while.

“Af­ter years of strug­gling with ba­sic ser­vices such as wa­ter and proper san­i­ta­tion, the res­i­dents of the re­mote vil­lage in the Greater Tza­neen Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity now have ac­cess to wa­ter four days a week,” Nd­lala wrote in an email to City Press.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity also claims that the area has been up­lifted thanks to more than 250 house­holds get­ting ven­ti­lated pit la­trines in a move to “re­store the dig­nity of over 1 000 res­i­dents who had to run to nearby bushes when­ever na­ture called”.

He says that 58 RDP houses had been built and 350 homes had been con­nected to the elec­tric­ity sup­ply grid.

Ward coun­cil­lor Emelina Ramolefo says that res­i­dents have ac­cess to pu­ri­fied tap wa­ter on Mon­days, Tues­days, Thurs­days and Fri­days, which comes from the Nkam­bako Wa­ter Scheme.

While there is still a need for more houses, 200 of them to be ex­act, Ramolefo says she is en­cour­aged by the progress.

Dur­ing all our com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the lead­ers in the area, there was no clear in­di­ca­tion from them about when the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would pro­vide a con­sis­tent and clean wa­ter sup­ply to the area.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.